Apr 13, 2004
Erosion of Trust
No State Facilities for GOP Propaganda:
Albuquerque officials canceled meetings to explain complex new Medicare prescription drug benefits to senior citizens after complaints that the sessions would not be neutral.
“This one hasn’t been fun,” said Kim Perdue, director of the city Department of Senior Affairs. “This has been one of the most controversial things we’ve been involved with.”
The department had invited Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., and a representative of Presbyterian Health Plan to present the seminars.
But several people complained that Wilson, who is up for re-election, and Presbyterian, which could benefit financially, were not neutral purveyors of information.
Ellen Leitzer, co-director of the Senior Citizens Law Office, sent Perdue an e-mail saying that informing the public about all aspects of the law, some of them detrimental to seniors, “is not their primary goal.”
“Presbyterian and Representative Wilson are free to conduct workshops in our community,” Leitzer wrote. “The issue is whether city property should be used to give one-sided information to seniors.”
She attached an Associated Press report describing a National Republican Congressional Committee memo advising GOP candidates how to talk about the legislation. The memo offers “seven principles for promotion” of the law and advises candidates to stress participation is voluntary and not to promise too much in the way of benefits, the AP reported.
As far as I can tell, nobody has picked up this entire article, although the abbreviated version can be found here. Also still trying to find the aforementioned attached report on NRCC propaganda points. Good to see people standing up to this nonsense in any case.